Published: 13:25, 25 September 2017
A former magistrate has been jailed for 11 years after being convicted of sexually abusing a young girl.
For years William Robinson sat on the bench handing out justice as a JP, but now a jury at Canterbury Crown Court has ruled the 72-year-old retired railwayman was secretly a paedophile.
Robinson, of The Green, Chartham, had denied 10 sex offences and sat shaking his head as the verdicts were announced.
But Judge Rupert Lowe told him: “I see you shaking your head as you have done metaphorically from the moment you were first accused, but this has been a great tragedy for many people.
“Let me make it clear that there is absolutely no doubt that you committed these 10 offences of which you have been convicted. And you have made the plight of your victim worse by withholding the truth.”
Judge Lowe said that Robinson had served the community by sitting as a JP at magistrates’ courts in London and was briefly chairman of the bench.
The judge told him: “I accept everything that has been said about you being a hard-working railwayman and a Justice of the Peace.”
"This was disgraceful offending. The longer you go on denying what you did the more you allow your victim to suffer" - Judge Rupert Lowe
But secretly Robinson had targeted a vulnerable child and molested her, leaving his victim traumatised by the appalling abuse.
The judge said Robinson thought no one would believe his victim and that would secure her silence.
He added: “This was disgraceful offending. The longer you go on denying what you did the more you allow your victim to suffer.”
The jury found him guilty of eight charges of sexual assault going back a number of years and two other sex offences.
After being jailed for a total of 11 years, Robinson turned to friends sat in the public gallery and shrugged his shoulders before being led away.
After the hearing, an NSPCC spokesman said: "Robinson probably thought he’d got away with his awful abuse but, thankfully, his victim was brave enough to speak out about her ordeal and ensure he faced justice.
"The fact he denied what he had done and subjected his victim to a court trial has only increased her torment.
"As a former JP, Robinson would have been fully aware of the emotional and mental anguish a court case would have on his victim. We hope she has received help and support so she can move forward with her life.
"This case proves that victims will be listened to when they come forward and that nobody is safe from the law because of a role they may hold, or previously held."